Pueblo, Colorado turned out to be a good weekend place for biking, walking, and beers. I was looking for an unusual place to stay and I came across a place called “The Station” in downtown Pueblo. The Station is located right on Pueblo’s Riverwalk, is upstairs from a brewery, and is built into a repurposed police station and jail. Rooms are former jail cells and have retained some of the “charm” of the old cells. You’ll find bars and old lockers in the boutiquee rooms.
Pueblo is a flat-land, front-range city of about 100,000 people located in southeastern Colorado. It started as a trading post along the river and became notable as the major steel-producing place in the western states. The steel factory and the large agricultural region surrounding Pueblo led to it also developing as an important rail center. I remember Pueblo from TV ads encouraging sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Government Printing Office in Pueblo if I wanted to receive this or that government publication. Current day large employers include hospitals and schools.
Pueblo Ride and Hike
For biking, we rode on the Arkansas River Trail (ART), a paved trail that travels west from downtown along the Arkansas River for 17 miles to Pueblo Reservoir and back. There are a variety of trails that spur from the ART on both sides of the river and provide a bunch of options for varying the route. We encountered walkers, runners, bikers, birders, fishermen, and even rollerbladers along the way. The route is generally pleasant and gets more interesting once you leave the urban area — more trees, more interesting scenery. The pavement is generally in decent shape but keep an eye out for some rough stretches.
We also got in some good walking in downtown on the Pueblo Riverwalk and on the streets connecting brewery explorations. The Riverwalk is a loop around a water feature that I understand to be the original course of the Arkansas River through the center of Pueblo. The story goes that there was a big flood in the 1920’s that destroyed much of the downtown. As part of the recovery, the route of the Arkansas was diverted to the South of the downtown where it is today. The old riverbed became a mosquito-infested scar through the center. During the 1990’s a downtown revitalization effort let the river water into the old channel again and a park was built around it. It is now a place for a nice walk with cafes, restaurants, and public art along the way. It is also a place for festivals, concerts, boat rides, fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Walter Brewing Company in Pueblo operated from 1898 to 1975. Founded by a German immigrant, the brewery made popular beers up until Prohibition and then reopened in 1933 after Prohibition was repealed. Walter ran declined and then was closed and demolished in the mid-70’s. The brand was revived by local entrepreneurs in 2017 with the opening of the Walter Brewery & Taproom in a warehousy-feeling building along the railroad tracks. It has a cool, old tavern vibe to go with the retro-style graphics.
Shamrock Brewing Company is a craft brewery and restaurant that opened in 1995 in a historic bank building. The atmosphere seemed like a cross between an Irish pub and a craft brewery — an Irish brew pub? They pride themselves on their Craic (pronounced crack), and no — the place isn’t run by plumbers. Craic is a Gaelic word, meaning a fun, friendly and exuberant atmosphere.
Brues Alehouse Brewing Co. is a brewpub in the back and bottom levels of the Station building. Founded in 2015 by two brothers whose last name is Brues, it features a pleasant terrace along the Riverwalk.
Neon Alley in Pueblo
Neon Alley is unique, back-alley near the old rail depot. The time to visit is dusk or later when the alley is lit up by a large collection of vintage neon signs. Neon Alley was created by a local businessman and neon sign collector who donated his collection of more than 100 signs to the city of Pueblo and worked with the city to create the display which opened in 2010. Neon Alley is open to the public for free..
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